Oct 17, 2011 - web    No Comments

Why Google+ can overtake Facebook

Almost a month has gone since Google+ opened up for open beta meaning that you no longer need an invitation to join Google+.

The move has been so well received by the public that growth shot up to 1269% according to Experian hitwise. The graph below:

Google+ open beta growth

Google+ open beta growth

According to Paul Allen (unofficial statistician for Google+), it took Google+ 88 days to reach the 50 million mark. Looking at the graph below from Leon Haland, we can see how this compares to other social networking websites.

Google+ 50 million users

Google+ 50 million users

What’s the potential for Google+?

Bearing in mind that Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter and MySpace managed to get their users via friends inviting people in their contact lists, etc. , it would be fair to say that Google+ didn’t have to resort to such measures to jump from 54th to 8th in the Experian Hitwise Social Networking and Forums category.

So what drove people’s interest to sign-up to Google+… the answer is simple, it’s search engine. Whether you’re signed-up or not, Google.com will always entice you to join from the +You in the top left menu on the search engine to the +1 button in each and every search result item. This without any doubt provides the Google+ platform massive exposure to the unregistered Google+ “virgin” unrivalled by any of the other social platforms.

Social media unique visitors

Social media unique visitors

From the graph above, it can be seen that Facebook clearly dwarfs the likes of MySpace, twitter and LinkedIn. Google.com cannot be retrieved as I suspect it has been blocked. Much of the stats is derived from their search engine which is the number 1 ranked site representing 50%-60% of global internet users. So the measure are pretty much one of the most accurate around.

From Alexa, Google has a great reach of about 50% v/s 45% for Facebook. Interestingly 6.04% of google.com visitors went to plus.google.com.

Google and Facebook reach

Google and Facebook reach

Using compete.com, Google.com receives 165,067,996 unique visitors per month while Facebook receives 155,773,970. So 6.04% (from Alexa) would represent 9,970,107 unique visitors for Google+ but most of these are referrals and we are missing out on the direct traffics to plus.google.com.

The graph below from compete.com shows another approximation which equals to 13,443,888 Unique Visitors:

What I am trying to say here is that the Google.com search engine will prove to be a massive exposure for Google+ whereas Facebook does not have such a powerful referral service at its disposal.

Google is also looking to incorporate social recommendations based for e.g. on interests. Now who would not want this feature while searching on google. I know I would and believe  a lot of people will too.